PROJECT GOAL: To promote
the use of native and endemic plants in an agroforestry system and
in restoration projects.
TARGET AUDIENCES: Hawaiian homesteaders,
landowners interested in agroforestry with native species, and youth.
Objective 1. To establish a multi-cropping
system of native trees and an understory of cash crops.
Although Objective number 1 was met in the first year of funding,
the trees have not met marketable harvesting size for wood. The
trees are being allowed to grow out with pruning done once or twice
a year as needed; winter and summer. Project Leaders have previously
sought advice from the Forestry Extension Specialist on ways to
improve wood quality of trees which will be implemented at the appropriate
time. All species are producing seeds with Kamani showing its first
seeds this year. Kamani was also the slowest growing of the trees
but, since has caught up in height.
Objective 2. To demonstrate a multi-cropping
system of native agroforestry products.
New crops are being planted in the understory. This past December,
one or two cacao seedlings were planted in between the trees in
the same row. They are growing well and establishing even with the
winds that blow through the project. There are a little over a 100
seedlings left to give away to cooperating growers. A second crop,
Vanilla, is being established in pots of various sizes on a bench
within the project.
Objective 3. To address concerns of landowners
and Hawaiian homesteaders of the long-term establishment period
in agro-forestry production.
During the Molokai Earth Day Celebration in April the project sponsored
a poster exhibit. At least 400 visitors attended the event. Cacao,
Kukui, Milo, and Kou trees, project information and bookmarkers
were given away. The bookmarkers were provided by DLNR’s Kaulunani
Urban Forestry Program. An educational interactive game was played
by viewers where they had a question relating to one of the four
native wood trees in the project and they had to guess which of
the trees it was. In June, the project was visited by nine students
and educators of the MCC Native Plant class of Molokai, five of
which were native Hawaiians and Homesteaders. In July, a two day
Tree Conference/Workshop was planned but did not occur due to low
numbers of participants registering. Project Leaders will try to
hold one in Spring 2004. In August, a grant writing workshop held
twice was coordinated and offered to clientele and given by Jacqueline
Ralya, Volunteer Technician for DLNR’s Kaulunani Urban Forestry
Program. A total of 16 clientele attended, 12 of which were native
Hawaiians or Homesteaders. Additionally, requests for information
on this grant was sent to seven native Hawaiians and Homesteaders
who could not attend the workshops. Participants represented local
schools, businesses, and most were interested in growing trees on
their own lands. One homesteader who planted a small field of awa
was able to harvest earlier this year. She planned to send it out
for sale and was advised to meet with USDA APHIS Plant Protection
Objective 4. To educate youth about the value
of planting endemic and indigenous trees.
As described above, the Earth Day poster exhibit help meet this
objective. In addition, the project was toured by the Hakipuu Charter
School. The visiting students and teachers were told about the project
and were educated on the cultural aspects of the native trees. Through
a separate project that both Project Leaders are involved in, the
Kaana Restoration Project, the RREA project is also discussed with
youth that are being taught. The Kaana Project is a restoration
project that involves classroom and hands-on education of native
plants, Hawaiian culture and the tie in with the native species
being planted, followed with the planting of the seedlings at the
site which is the “home of the hula” on Molokai. The
outplantings involve community members, other adult organizations
statewide, and the students’ ohana or family members. Collaborators
of this project include The Nature Conservancy, USDA Plant Material
Center, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Moanalua Garden
Foundation, Kumu Hula John Kaimikaua and Halau O Kukunaokala.
Objective 5. To evaluate potential cash crops,
their marketability and management as understory plantings.
Objective number 5 is always addressed as the understory crops
are harvested. After growing alfalfa, several understory crops were
planted but have not been evaluated and are still becoming established,
with the exception of Awa. The awa was harvested this year at three
years of age and the wet weight of the roots was taken.
This project just finished its ninth year of funding.